Last Wednesday, February 9th, 60-year-old Dwayne Anthony Freeman faced his initial court appearance in connection with the rape and murder of a fellow nursing home resident.
An employee of Homestead Healthcare Center entered the room of 80-yr-old Patricia Newnum in the early morning hours of February 2nd to distribute medication. It was then that another resident, Freeman, was discovered on top of Newnum. He appeared to be having sex with the hospice patient while holding a pillow over her face. When confronted, Freeman reportedly smelled of alcohol and “rambled incoherently.” He reacted violently when an empty bottle was found in his room.
Newnum was subsequently declared dead in her bed, and an autopsy later ruled her death a homicide. She had died from asphyxiation due to smothering.
According to prosecutors, Freeman’s story changed several times before he finally admitted to having intercourse with the victim but claimed it was consensual and initiated by Newnum. However, employees of the facility told police that before her death, Newnum was unable to move on her own and her ability to speak was limited. Freeman also had a history of speaking inappropriately to women during the three months he’d lived at the facility. Incredibly, he’d even told staff the night before the assault that he was “going to get me a woman tonight.”
An automatic not-guily plea was entered on Freeman’s behalf Wednesday, and a public defender was assigned to him. It’s unknown at this time if the facility will face negligence charges in connection with Newnum’s death. Local news station WTHR reports that the facility, located at 7465 Madison Avenue, faced more than $100,ooo in federal fines last year. Federal site Medicare.gov states it has received 26 complaints that resulted in citations against Homestead Healthcare Center within the last three years.
Dwayne Freeman is scheduled to appear in court again March 30th.
On this day in 1983, the bodies of Jamie Engelking (21), her children Jessica Brown (2) and Brandon Engelking, Jr. (1), along with family friend Amanda Davis (12), were found buried in a shallow grave in Bartholomew County. They had disappeared the previous August when Jamie took the children camping.
Robert Bassett Jr. was found guilty of the murders in 1998 and sentenced to four life sentences without the possibility of parole. The Indiana Supreme Court later overturned that conviction, stating pre-trial publicity had tainted the jury. Bassett was tried and convicted again a couple years later.
Sometime in the late evening of September 17, 1983, the Osbourne family of Fort Wayne were bludgeoned in their home. Killed were father R. Daniel Osborne (35), his wife, Jane (34), their son, Ben (11), and the family dog. The couple’s daughter, Caroline (2), was also beaten but managed to survive. Both Jane and Caroline had been sexually assaulted. Almost unimaginably, the tragedy was not discovered for two days, during which time the toddler was left alone with the corpses of her parents and brother. When rescued, she reportedly told police “Mommy and Daddy are sleeping.”
After being charged with an unrelated crime four months later, Calvin Perry III (18), apparently confessed to killing the Osbournes. But he would never be put on trial for the crimes. Perry was found dead, hanging in his cell, within 48 hours of his incarceration. His guilt is still debated to this day.
Claim to Infamy: On September 7, 1997, Overstreet abducted, raped, and murdered 18-yr-old college student Kelly Eckart. Her partially-nude body was found four days later in a ravine at Camp Atterbury.
Indiana Connection: A native of Boggstown, Kelly had just finished her shift at the Franklin WalMart when Overstreet kidnapped her. According to statements given to police, he took her to the Franklin Days Inn motel before transporting her to Camp Atterbury with the help of his brother, Scott A. Overstreet. Scott Overstreet has never been charged in connection with this crime.
Current Status: Sitting on Indiana’s Death Row in Michigan City
Random Disturbing Fact: Overstreet ‘saw’ demons and other hallucinations as a child, but his mother never sought help for him. Mental illness continued to plague him through adulthood; he served only three months in the Marines before being discharged on those grounds.